The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Complete Buyer Persona Template

May 31, 2020

A well-defined buyer persona enables you to humanize your communication. From setting business goals to crafting effective campaigns, buyer personas can make your task more efficient. Hence, a well-crafted buyer persona template can transform your marketing efforts.

buyer holding shoping bag

What is a Buyer Persona

Personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. Buyer personas incorporate empathy in your marketing communication. They help to form a common language between the company and the marketers.

The idea is to treat buyer personas as if they were real people. Hence, you will understand their specific needs, desires, and pain points. You will also know what to say and how to say it. Basically, a buyer persona helps you set the tone for your marketing messages.

Since a company has more than one set of customers, you will often need multiple buyer personas. A standard buyer persona template must include demographic, psychographic, behavioral, and motivational information. It must allow you to visualize your customers.

Buyer Persona Research

You cannot fill up the buyer persona template out of thin air. Rather, personas are created based on solid UX research. Here’s a basic lesson on doing user research and understanding your audience. There are many sources based on which you can create you buyer personas.

1. Existing Customer Data

The first source is your existing customer data. Key points you should be interested in are age, location, buying frequency, purchase volume, and reviews. From age and location, you can speculate an income range too.

2. Website and Social Media Analytics

Next comes your website. Analyze who is visiting your website. Identify their online behavior, activities, and pain points.

Similarly, you can draw data from the mobile application, if you have any. The registration process of the mobile application can help you garner valuable information about your user. You can further analyze their usage frequency and most used features to understand their needs.

Furthermore, you can also get a large amount of data from social media analytics. These tools will provide you with accurate user data. Often monitoring your social media channels and people’s responses can lead to precious insights.

3. Social Media Listening Tools

What are the pain points that your potential customers are dealing with? How can you help them to convert them? Social media listening tools can help you in this regard.

You can analyze the frequency your company is being searched for. You can also monitor who are talking about your brand and why. A real-time look into their online conversations can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Similarly, you can tune with your customer service team. See if they are facing recurring challenges or a pattern of requests. Doing so can help you identify a broad persona.

4. Financial Data

Interestingly the receipts that you hand over to the customers might come in handy too. They can unearth your customer’s purchase volume and payment channel.

For example, a large volume of your customers is paying with cards of a certain bank. Hence, you can do a quick cost-benefit analysis of whether you should collaborate with the bank to offer discounts and drive sales.

5. Surveys

You can further solidify your above claims with supplements with external data i.e. email surveys, online surveys, customer feedback, and focus group discussions. Another useful source is the internal interviews. Employees in your company may also play roles as customers. Hence, an internal interview might prove extremely useful.

Often you send out surveys to the listed customer emails. But most of them turn out to be fake. However, Verifybee can help you verify the authentic emails and phone numbers. So, you do not waste time chasing fake customers.

The Ultimate Buyer Persona Template

Consider buyer personas as an iceberg. The initial sections are like the tip of an iceberg: shallow and visible to everyone. The latter section dive into the psychology of your brand persona.

Basic Demographics

Start with assigning a name for your persona. Then include the following.

1. Gender
2. Age Range
3. Income Range
4. Profession
5. City/Town they live in
6. Hobbies and Passion
7. General problems he/she face

Behavioral Information

A standard buyer persona template must have behavioral information. This section can be divided into 4 categories. They are as follows:

1. Occasion

When does he/she:

  • get the idea to buy your product?
  • actually buy the product?
  • use the product?

2. Benefits Sought

What is the benefit he/she is seeking from your product? There are 4 levels of benefits. For Verifybee, a customer verification software, the benefits are as follows:

  • Product Attributes: Intuitive, feature-rich, affordable.
  • Product Benefits: email verification, B2B database.
  • Consumer Benefits: Convenience, time-saving.
  • Emotional Benefits: making the customer feel organized.

3. User Status

Is he/she a -

  • Non-user of the brand/category
  • Lapsed user of the brand/category
  • User of the brand/category

4. Usage Status

Is he/she a -

  • Low users of the brand/category
  • Split user of the brand/category
  • Heavy user of the brand/category

Psychographic Information

The third section of the buyer persona template contains the physiographic profile. This profile unearths the lifestyle, personality, and attitude of your buyer persona.

Firstly, describe the mindset of your buyer persona. Now, define what caused him/her to have this mindset. Finally, identify the behavioral triggers that this persona best responds to.

Motivational Information

The motivational section of the buyer persona template explains the needs, tensions, and core motivation of the persona.

1. Need

A need is what people satisfy by doing what they do. For example, people use Google Maps to remain updated and organized.

2. Tension

Tension is what people avoid by doing what they do. Some people use Google Maps because they fear uncertainty. They don’t want to look sloppy.

3. Core Motivation

The core motivation is the ultimate reason to fill a need or avoid tension.

Finally, we can frame the findings in this way.

“The inner motivation to use Google Maps stems from my need to remain updated and reliable. I don’t want to look untrustworthy and sloppy. Because I desire to fit into society as a responsible member. I like to be a part of the community.”

Economic Information

This is the advanced part of the buyer persona template. If you have sophisticated tools to quantify your marketing results, you may include the following. Otherwise, this is an optional section for SMEs.

On the x-axis put the following factors.

  • Close Rate
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Lifetime Value (LTV)
  • CAC: LTV
  • Repurchase Rate
  • Cross-Purchase Rate
  • % of Total Customers

Then, put the quarterly measures on the y-axis. Here is what the economic information looks like:

buyer persona template economic information

Now you can also map out the customer journey of your buyer persona. Depending on the findings, you can divide the journey into 4 phases.

1. Pre-Sale Phase

You can fill out the pre-sale section in the following way. Firstly, list the common objections the persona might have. Then, strategize how your company plans to respond. To better strategize, create a timetable for your persona.

The timetable divides the persona’s whole day into small windows. It also charts out the activities the persona might be engaged in. Furthermore, it should also contain the devices, channels, and touchpoints he/she might be exposed to at that time.

Here is what a standard timetable looks like. You can fill the rest accordingly.

buyer persona template timetable

2. Onboarding Phase

Firstly, list out the goals the persona wants to achieve in the next months. Then, identify the pain points. Finally, chart out how your company can negate the pain points.

3. Customer (less than 6 months)

Customer acquisition isn’t the end of it. You have to retain the persona. Therefore, as before, list out the goals the customer wants to achieve in the next 6 months. Then, identify the biggest onboarding and new customer challenges.

Ensure that his/her learning curve is not too steep. Finally, strategize how your company can help the persona overcome the onboarding challenges.

4. Customer (more than 6 months)

The process is the same as in the last phases. Only this time, you need to identify the challenges your current customers are facing. Resolve them and create values as per their future goals and desires.

Finally, you can add a soundbite or a quote if doing so helps you visualize better. You can also add real quotes gathered from surveys, questionnaires, or interviews. Moreover, adding identifiers such as buzzwords or mannerisms also help in certain cases. Try this format for the quote.

As a ____(who), When I am __(situation), I want to ____(motivation), so I can __(desired outcome).

Congratulations! Your buyer persona template is complete.

Final Thoughts

Having a buyer persona template doesn't help unless you know how to use it. Don’t get overwhelmed with 10-12 buyer personas. Instead, narrow down your personas to 3 to 4 broad personas. Afterward, you can create “sub-personas” within each broad personas.

Now prioritize your personas based on your business goals and their respective impact. A persona does not have to be pitch-perfect. Rather, they should work as guidelines. They solidify the assumptions you need to make as a marketer.

Here is a pro-tip. Once you have created the personas, include them in your meetings. Talk about them as if they were real people. Because our proposed buyer persona template is as real as they get.

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